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2020 Saleen GT4 Concept Race Car

2020 Saleen GT4 Concept Race Car

Saleen’s back at it after a prolonged hiatus

Saleen unveiled last weekend in Las Vegas the concept version of its upcoming GT4 racer based on the Saleen One mid-engined supercar. The American manufacturer, known for making the ludicrous S7 for years, plans to have a few cars on the grid in the 2020 season of the Pirelli GT4 America championship. With 450 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-pot, the car is priced at $225,000.

Saleen is back in the game after entirely too many years away. It’s been a full decade since the twin-turbocharged version of the S7 hypercar retired from active competition. Since then, S7 examples have been seen huffing and puffing during historic racing meetings but the company that made them laid dormant until about 12 months ago when it announced a full-blown single-make series revolving its new product, known at the time as the Saleen S1. Plans for a GT4-spec car were outlined at the time and, following the success of the single-make series, Saleen now follows up on its promises and has unveiled the GT4 racer that will take on the best from Porsche, McLaren, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Chevrolet, and many others.

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Saleen Teases a "Special Announcement" on August 17th

Saleen Teases a "Special Announcement" on August 17th

The last time there was this much buzz about a Saleen model, the dedicated auto company unleashed the S7, a car that was, at one point in time, considered the fastest and most powerful car in the world.

So you have to excuse the excitement in the room now that Saleen is back and teasing a "special announcement" at Laguna Seca this weekend as part of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. We are thinking that this announcement will actually be the unveiling of a new Saleen model.

After years of the company being in limbo, including Steve Saleen’s departure from the company he built from the ground up, there now appears to be a stable foundation that has given way for the debut of what could very well be the successor to the mighty S7.

While we’re expecting a completely different — and new — supercar, we certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if this debut ends up being the production version of the S5S Raptor Concept, a prototype model that was introduced in 2008 as a concept but never saw production due to the tumultuous circumstances that befell Saleen at that time.

But all of that is water under the bridge now and Saleen is preparing for something special at Laguna Seca this weekend. And if there’s a company that has made us wait long enough for a supercar successor to its initial offering, it’s Saleen.

Click past the jump to read about the Saleen S5S Raptor Concept

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Saleen S5S Raptor may still see production

Saleen S5S Raptor may still see production

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost exactly four years to the day since the 2008 Saleen S5S Raptor Concept made its public debut at the New York Auto Show. It went into the show strictly as a concept, but that didn’t stop hopefuls claiming that it could have hit the market soon after. We never imagined reporting on it again four years later, but here we are.

Since the 2008 New York Auto Show, Saleen has faced its fair share of controversy and cut-backs, as the once prominent Ford Mustang tuner went quiet before announcing that it was solely focusing on parts and accessories. Thankfully however, with Steve Saleen now being able to use the Saleen name in future models after a bitter legal dispute, the 63 year-old has announced that he has ambitious plans to create a successor to the incredible Saleen S7.

Saleen hinted that a future model could be based heavily upon the S5S Raptor, and we don’t blame him, as its styling looks as futuristic and aggressive as ever. Sure a few tweaks here and there would have to be made to the external styling, but we don’t see why Saleen would have to mess with the stunning looks too much.

While speaking to Autoweek, Saleen stated “That’s still a part of our plan. The S5S is still in our planning." We’re honestly not sure why Steve has decided to come out now and speak about this possible supercar, but we’re over the moon as it could mean yet another American-born car to compete with the likes of the equally impressive SSC Tuatara and Hennessey Venom GT.

When the S5S Raptor was originally introduced, it featured a 5.0-liter V8 engine pumping out an incredible 650HP and 600lb-ft of torque. As a result, it could launch to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds and continue accelerating to in excess of 200 mph, and those performance times are still mighty impressive nowadays.

It’s unclear just when the S5S Raptor could hit the production line, but don’t expect any more than 20 or 30 to be produced with each likely to cost well over $1 million.

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SMS Mustang Concept

SMS Mustang Concept

Steve Saleen is celebrating his 25 years in the automotive business and the launch of his new company SMS with the launch of a new concept: the new SMS 25th Anniversary Mustang Concept.

The Mustang Concept is powered by a upercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 720 hp and a peak torque of 670 lb-ft. Saleen did not revealed the 0 to 60 mph numbers, but declared: "The performance is astounding; the SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang has reached nearly the same levels of performance as was previously achieved in the S7 Twin Turbo!".

The Concept feature a "light blade" lighting system and sequential rear turn signals. There are functional carbon fiber pieces and numerous billet aluminum design accents. The vehicle is completed with SMS "Chromosome Silver" paint with Saleen’s signature anniversary yellow, white and black graphic accents.

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2008 Saleen S5S Raptor

2008 Saleen S5S Raptor

Saleen unveiled today at the New York Auto Show the S5S Raptor Concept. According to the company the S5S Raptor could enter the market in as little as two years, and should it go forward, it would carry a base price of approximately $185,000.

The Raptor is a two seat mid-engine super car that competes in size and style with core offerings from the most notable of Italian exotic car makes, but with a segment leading 650hp and 630 lb-ft of torque provided by a Saleen 5.0L Supercharged Engine - the source of the S5S designation. Unlike its competitors, the Raptor is designed to digest cellulosic ethanol. This is the same ethanol formula, states Wilbur, that is the official fuel of the 2008 American Le Mans Race Series and the IRL.

The Raptor’s hand-built 5.0L cubic inch engine with its patented twin-screw supercharger delivers its 650 horses at 6300 rpm and hits max torque at just 4400 RPM. This power sits on call beneath the knob of a close ratio 6-speed manual, or optional paddle shifting sequential gearbox. It’s a combination that send Raptor’s rigid aluminum chassis screaming to a top speed of over 200 mph.

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Saleen S5S Raptor - more details

Saleen S5S Raptor - more details

The Saleen S5S Raptor Concept won’t make its official debut until tomorrow, but here are a few more details and images about it. The S5S Raptor will go into production by 2010 and pricing will start from $185,000.

The Saleen S5S Raptor will be powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter engine that delivers 650 hp and 630 lbs-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox; it can run on E85 ethanol and is capable of jetting from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

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Saleen S5S Raptor Concept to be unveiled in NY

Saleen S5S Raptor Concept to be unveiled in NY

Sallen will unveil at the New York International Auto Show the S5S Raptor, a concept that uses an aluminum chassis and composite body panels for weight savings.

The S5S Raptor is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that burns E85 ethanol. Saleen estimates a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

Stay tuned, more details will follow!

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